If you suffered injuries in a car accident as a passenger, you have as much right as a driver to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and other accident-related expenses. Florida law entitles you to pursue an injury claim, but you must meet specific legal requirements before you can receive reimbursement.
To ensure that you get the compensation you deserve, contact Anidjar & Levine at 800-747-3733 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our car accident attorneys. We can help you hold the responsible parties liable for your injuries and take your case to court if necessary.
Against Which Driver Do I File an Injury Claim?
You have options for filing claims depending on some factors. You may file a claim against:
- The driver of the vehicle in which you were riding and the driver’s insurance company. It does not matter whether the driver caused the accident. If the driver did not own the car, you could also file a claim against the vehicle owner.
- The other driver involved in the accident and the driver’s insurance company.
- Your own auto insurance company, if you own a vehicle. If you have auto insurance, you can file a claim for PIP benefits, but you must get medical treatment within 14 days after the accident.
Florida law requires all drivers to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP pays 80 percent of medical bills and 60 percent of lost wages. So, the drivers’ PIP insurance covers you, regardless of which driver caused the accident. However, you can only recover compensation up to the limits of their auto insurance policy. So, you may have to file a claim against both drivers.
If one driver’s insurance does not fully compensate you, the other driver’s insurance may cover your remaining expenses. For instance, if you have $20,000 in medical expenses and one driver has only the minimum $10,000 bodily injury insurance, the other driver’s insurance might cover your remaining costs.
The option you choose depends on several factors including the severity of your injuries and the drivers’ insurance coverage. We offer legal guidance on which option(s) would best meet your needs.
Florida Auto Insurance Requirements
Florida requires all vehicle owners to have auto insurance, whether or not they drive their vehicle. Owners must have a minimum of:
- $10,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $20,000 for bodily injury to two or more people
- $10,000 property damage liability
What If the Drivers Do Not Have Insurance?
If you have auto insurance, you may have purchased extra insurance called, Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage or Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage. UM protects you when the driver who caused the accident does not have auto insurance. UIM covers you when the driver does not have enough insurance to cover your accident-related expenses.
Who Pays If I Sustained Injuries in an Uber or Lyft Vehicle?
Drivers for the popular ride-sharing companies must have special insurance that includes liability coverage of at least $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage. Drivers also must have PIP, UM and UIM coverage. Uber and Lyft provide this coverage if the driver’s insurance lapsed or does not provide the required coverage.
How Do I File an Injury Claim?
You would contact the insurance company and make an accident report.Usually, the drivers will have already opened claims, and an insurance adjuster should contact you shortly to discuss your injury claim. However, if neither driver disclosed your information, you might have to notify the insurance company yourself.
We would help you by notifying the drivers’ insurance companies of your intent to file an insurance claim. We also launch our investigation of your accident that includes collecting such vital information as a police report of your accident, eyewitness statements about the accident, and the traffic camera video that recorded the accident.
Our investigation determines who to hold responsible for your injuries and how the at-fault driver caused the accident. For instance, the driver may have been speeding, using a smartphone, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the accident occurred.
We will provide the insurance companies with convincing evidence that supports your claim and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
Should I File a Lawsuit Instead of an Insurance Claim?
Florida has strict guidelines for filing personal injury lawsuits. If your damages exceed the amount of the drivers’ liability policy, Florida allows you to file a lawsuit if you suffered permanent bodily injuries, physical scarring or disfigurement, or if your loved one died in the accident. We will advise you whether to pursue this option and serve as your legal representative in the court case.